Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System Review

Sawyer Squeeze Review

When my buddy told me about that time he was trekking across Fiji without enough water, carrying only a Lifestraw which was a little tough for the trek, I immediately said he should get Sawyer’s Squeeze Water Filter. It takes up no space and fits easily in your pocket; then if you need it, you can fill the sac and carry it like a water bottle, drinking through the attached filter. Sounded like a damn ad. And then I showed him pictures of my son using it on our recent camping trip. It was the only filter we used for the whole backpack.

Sawyer Filters vs Kataydn

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System

Sawyer Squeeze Filter Packable Size | Photo Mountain Weekly News


I have a large hanging Kataydn gravity filter that I usually set up for backpacking trips, especially if we’re going to be in the backcountry for a few days. And I brought it with me on an overnight this spring but never got it out. Because my son had “his” Sawyer Squeeze 16 oz. Water Filter and it covered us the whole time, without having to pull it out, do too much assembling, or worry about the filter afterward.

The Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter is as easy as it gets – you fill the plastic bladder. Screw on the filter. Drink from the filter. Done. The only issue is that the thick plastic bladder can be tough to fully fill with water; the trick I found is to blow in it and really push it hard through the water.

Ease of Use

Water Filter Camping

Kid Filling the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter in the Backcountry | Photo Ryan Ariano Mountain Weekly News

On a recent backpacking overnight into the southern Tetons, we stopped at all the creeks, my son filled the bladder. Then screwed on the filter and walked with it as his water bottle. He actually drank more water than he’s ever drank on a backpacking trip. And it worked well enough that I also used it to fill my Nalgene. That was over a week ago and we’re feeling fine as ever. Then again, the Sawyer filter is certified for ABSOLUTE microns, making it impossible for harmful bacteria to pass through.

Overall Impression

Drinking out of water filter

Drinking Water Out of the Sawyer Squeeze Bag | Photo Ryan Ariano Mountain Weekly News

Sawyer’s 16 oz Squeeze Water Filter ($21.95) is kind of an indispensable tool to have, especially for its low price. Okay, so I have to wonder how long the plastic bladder will last. And I don’t know if I was ever able to fill the 16 oz. bladder to its capacity given the reluctance of the plastic to easily fill. But it supported my son and I for 2 days of hiking into sunny mountain backcountry. It can easily double as a water bottle, the perfect size to carry along and grab from the creeks and rivers. It’s kind of a no-brainer to keep in your pack permanently.

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About the Author

Ryan Ariano
A mountain dilettante, by way of Baltimore and SoCal, raising a family in the Tetons on an endless quest for unobstructed views, high endorphin flow, experienced enlightenment, and the world’s best fried chicken.

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